How to Install AT&T Internet
Installing your own AT&T internet can save you time and money. But whether or not you can install AT&T internet yourself, depends on what type of service you sign up for and how recently your home had AT&T services.
If you’re able to self-install your AT&T internet service, you should see this option when you order your internet plan. AT&T fiber internet plans are more likely to require a professional installation with an AT&T technician.
We’ll get into the pros and cons of self-installing your internet service and help you decide if you should set up your new AT&T service yourself or make a professional installation appointment.
Pro installation vs. self-installation
- Entire installation performed by tech
- Problems addressed by tech
- Ability to move modem/router to a different room
- Installation fee up to $99.99
- Scheduled appointment required
- 4–6 hour appointment time commitment
- No appointment necessary
- Quick and easy
- Doesn’t always work
- May not be able to move gateway location
- Issues with your network may go unchecked
- Limited assistance with troubleshooting
Self-install for AT&T internet
What you need: Self-install kit, AT&T compatible modem, Bonus: Android or iOS device with AT&T app
How long it takes: Approximately 30 mins
Will AT&T self-installation work for me?
It depends on if your residence has wiring for the same type of AT&T internet service that you’re getting.
For example, if you’re getting AT&T fiber internet, but the home was last wired for AT&T DSL, you will need a professional installation.
The best way to find out if self-install will work for you is to ask AT&T when you order services.
Self-install is a good option for these circumstances:
- The residence recently had AT&T services (especially apartments).
- You’re comfortable setting up your equipment.
- You can afford to wait for a professional install appointment if a self-install doesn’t work.
If you choose to self-install but run into an issue, you can always contact AT&T customer support online or by calling 1-800-288-2020.
How long does AT&T self-install take?
You can complete your AT&T self-install in about 30 minutes.
- Equipment setup: 10 minutes
- Equipment powerup: 1–5 minutes
- Registration & activation: 5 minutes
- Wi-Fi setup: 10 minutes
Professional installation for AT&T internet
Cost: Up to $99 for DSL, fiber, & fixed wireless
What you need: A person 18 years or older present with access to the inside and outside of your residence
How long it takes: 4–6 hours
A professional installation is more expensive and requires more planning, but it’s more thorough and likely to succeed than a self-install. A technician will come to your home, connect your residence to the network, run the appropriate cabling within the home, and set up your equipment. You don’t have to do anything aside from being present during the installation.
Who should get a professional installation?
AT&T’s self-installation is easy and fast, but it’s not guaranteed to work. Additionally, opting for a self-installation comes with some limitations.
We recommend going with a professional installation if you don’t want to risk the self-install failing and consequently waiting for an appointment with a tech. A professional install is also a good idea if you want to move your AT&T gateway to a different room, which requires adjusting your home’s network cabling.
A professional installation is a good option for these circumstances:
- Your residence hasn’t had AT&T service for over 12 months.
- Your home’s cables and outlets look old or damaged.
You want to move the location where your AT&T gateway is installed (or will be installed) to a different room. See our guide on where to place your router to learn more about picking the best spot in your home.
What you need to self-install AT&T internet
You’ll need a self-install kit from AT&T to get started. Additionally, you must have the proper cabling installed to connect your home to the AT&T network—the exact cabling you need will depend on the type of AT&T internet service you sign up for.
Requirements for AT&T fiber internet
To self-install AT&T fiber internet, you need to have the following:
- Fiber drop cable. This fiber cable is attached to the outside of your home from a telephone pole or underground. Fiber drop cables look flat and thin compared to phone or coaxial cables.
- Optical networking terminal (ONT). This terminal is a small plastic gray box with an AT&T logo on it. You can usually find it in a closet or on the wall in the living room, basement, garage, or even outside of the home near the power meter. The Fiber drop cable is attached to the ONT.
- AT&T fiber self-install kit. AT&T’s fiber install kit includes a Wi-Fi gateway and all the cables you need. You can order your self-install kit when you sign up for your plan.
Requirements for AT&T Internet/DSL
- Phone drop cable. This phone cable will be attached to the outside of your home from a telephone pole or underground. Phone cables have a rectangular shape and are thicker than fiber drop cables.
- AT&T phone network interface. This interface is a gray plastic box attached to the side of your home, usually near the power meter. The phone drop cable is attached to the AT&T phone network interface.
- Broadband wall jack. This wall jack is an Ethernet port that will feed an internet connection to your Wi-Fi gateway. You may also get away with using a phone wall jack in conjunction with an Ethernet/phone splitter.
How to order your AT&T self-install kit
You can order your self-install kit when you sign up for your AT&T service. If you didn’t order a self-install kit at that time, you should be able to order one by contacting AT&T customer service, provided self-installation is an option at your address.
What comes in your self-install kit
Your AT&T self-install kit includes the following:
- AT&T Wi-Fi Gateway (modem/router combo)
- Green broadband Ethernet cable (AT&T Internet/DSL)
- Red ONT Ethernet cable (AT&T Fiber)
- Yellow Ethernet cable
- Power cord (may be 2 parts)
- Gray phone cable
Issues with an AT&T self-install
If you’re having trouble with a self-install, check the lights on your AT&T Wi-Fi gateway. The broadband light and the service light should be solid green. If that’s not the case, try these quick fixes first:
- Check that your cables and connections are correct. Reference the instructions that came with your self-install kit.
- Restart your AT&T Wi-Fi gateway. To do this, unplug the power cable, wait 15 seconds, then plug it back in. Wait about 5 minutes to allow the gateway to reboot.
If you’re stumped, you can always contact AT&T support for help.
AT&T gateway is online but has no internet connection
If your gateway is online, but you still don’t have a good internet connection, try some general troubleshooting.
Start with our guide on how to set up a home Wi-Fi network, as it may help with general steps you may have missed.
Next, try our internet and Wi-Fi troubleshooting guides:
How to order an AT&T professional installation
You can schedule your installation appointment when you sign up for your service. If you ordered a self-install kit but decide you’d rather have a pro installation, you can call AT&T customer service to schedule one.
You can check your installation appointment status anytime by visiting att.com/appointmentstatus.
How to prepare for an AT&T internet installation
- Ensure someone 18 years of age or older is present during the entire installation (4-6 hrs).
- Prepare access to your crawlspace and attic.
- Move any furniture or appliances to give the technician access to wall jacks and outlets (techs are not allowed to move furniture or personal items).
- Secure any pets away from the areas the technician will be working.
AT&T equipment rental
Unlike many other ISPs, AT&T does not give you the option to replace the AT&T gateway with your own equipment. However, you can use your own router behind the AT&T gateway, but you still have to pay the rental fee.
The rental fee for an AT&T Wi-Fi gateway is $10 per month, which is a bit lower than the average equipment rental cost.
Which installation option is best for you?
If you think your residence is ready for AT&T service, the self-install is worth a shot. A self-install is cheaper and faster than a professional installation. If you need more certainty or want a more thorough setup of your AT&T internet service, the professional install is the way to go.
Author - Austin Aguirre
Austin worked as a broadband technician installing and troubleshooting countless home internet networks for some of the largest ISPs in the U.S. He became a freelance writer in 2020 specializing in software guides. After graduating with a BS in technical communication from Arizona State University, he joined the team at HighSpeedInternet.com where he focuses on home network improvement and troubleshooting.
Editor - Cara Haynes
Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.